Russian ban on frozen poultry not well received

04-11-2010 | | |
Russian ban on frozen poultry not well received

A new ban by Russia on using frozen poultry in processed products that comes into effect on Jan. 1 has prompted mixed reactions both from abroad and domestically.

Russia announced that it will only allow sale of chilled, and not frozen poultry from next January. “There is no scientific basis or food safety rationale for this ban. Freezing is a long used, internationally accepted method of securing the safety of food products, including poultry and poultry products,” a USDA spokeswoman said.

Outdated and rough technology
The head of the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare, Gennady Onishchenko told RIA Novosti, “The transition to chilled poultry was approved in March 2008. There will be no turnover of frozen poultry in Russia from January 1, 2011. It is an outdated and rough technology, which leads to a loss of many of the useful qualities of meat.” 

“It is a corporate decision made on the basis of analysis. I have received loads of letters from governors who thank us and say that Russian producers can guarantee chilled poultry deliveries to consumers without deep freezing.”

However Sergei Yushin, head of an executive committee at the National Meat Association, disagreed with Onishchenko’s statement; “I can hardly imagine a producer who would be happy with a ban on frozen poultry turnover. Some consumers will be deprived of the product”.

Poultry exports
Yushin said the ban raised the question of whether Russia intended to export meat, as it could not be exported chilled. “Such a prohibition exists nowhere in the world. How does this decision fit the statement that Russia wants to harmonise its requirements with international norms and the policy of attracting investment?” he added.